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Lab Undergoes Emergency Surgery After Eating His Toys

By Colleen Williams
February 12, 2018 • 2 min. read
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“We had three labs prior to our current guy Jude, and didn’t have pet insurance for any of them. Our yellow lab had had a few issues here and there, and our vet had recommended we get pet insurance,” explains pet parent Jen. “I had done some research but didn’t think it was worth the money. I was so wrong! He had three knee surgeries in the last two years and crossed the rainbow bridge in June 2017. We spent close to $15,000 out of pocket to care for him. So, when we adopted Jude from a family member, we enrolled him in Healthy Paws Pet Insurance immediately; we knew we couldn’t afford those costs again.”

Jude came to Jen due to his high energy levels – young Labradors are chock full of boisterous liveliness that can be overwhelming for inexperienced pet parents (or those who don’t share their active lifestyle). “He wasn’t trained very well and certainly not with the ‘leave it’ and ‘drop it’ commands,” Jen says. “We bought him a squeaker toy and he ate the squeaker right out of it!” To avoid this from happening again, Jen cut open the other toys to remove the squeaker, but Jude’s quick Lab-chomping skills were in effect. “He took the squeaker right out of my hand and into his mouth it went! I still had my fingers on it, in his mouth, and he still just sucked it down! It was like a vacuum!”

As many, many Lab parents know, swallowing various items – especially toys and socks – is par for the course with these adorable mischief-makers. Unfortunately, it can be very serious and cause an intestinal blockage, which can then lead to emergency Foreign Body Obstruction surgery.

“A week later he started with vomiting and diarrhea,” Jen continues. “It was a weekend, so to the emergency vet we went. The x-ray showed the squeaker and fabric! We had an ultrasound and confirmed there was fabric in his stomach and he immediately went into surgery.” What was the fabric, you wonder? Jen laughs, “The surgeon called and there were two pairs of underwear – one of mine and one of my husbands – and the two squeakers! We had no idea about the underwear or when he got into them!”

Jude’s intestinal blockage and emergency surgery totaled $4,734, of which Healthy Paws reimbursed $4,201 (Jen’s plan is a 90% reimbursement level with a $250 annual deductible). “If we didn’t have Healthy Paws, we would have struggled to pay those bills. Plus, it was easy to submit the claim; the reimbursement check came quickly and Healthy Paws even checked in to see how Jude was doing.” Jude has since fully recovered and is back to chewing – and not swallowing – a plethora of fun, furry toys.

Got a Lab? Then you might want to get pet insurance! At Healthy Paws, we see many Labrador retriever pet parents file claims for tummy troubles including swallowing socks whole, eating avocado pits and wolfing down tennis balls. Don’t be caught off-guard with emergency Foreign Body Obstruction surgery; get a free quote today.

colleen williams
By Colleen Williams

Over the past decade, Colleen has written about health, wellness, beauty, and even pets for The New York Times, The Cut, Refinery29, xoVain, Healthy Paws Pet Insurance, and Seattle Met Magazine, as well as many beauty brands. She has a BFA in Art History from the University of New Mexico and an AAS in Fashion Design from Parsons School of Design in New York.

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